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Spreading smiles and happiness

Richard Catton

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The Herdy stand at the Home and Gift 2017 show in Harrogate.
Diane Hannah flies the flag for Herdy at Harrogate Convention Centre .

We check out a successful small business helping to sell the Lake District to the world.

We’re always keeping an eye out for bright new Northern brands exhibiting at Harrogate Convention Centre, so we were pleased to spot Herdy and their lovable, colourful products at the recent Home & Gift Show.

Drawing on their background in design, this husband and wife team is celebrating ten successful years in business, growing the movement around the Lake District’s most lovable brand personality, Herdy, inspired by the Lakes District’s Herdwick sheep.

We caught up with Diane and Spencer Hannah on their exhibition stand, where they were displaying their unique range of giftware, homeware and accessories.

Diane explained: “The Herdwick is unique to the Lake District and you can see them grazing all over the mountains. The farming heritage, culture and Lakeland landscape has been shaped by this characterful sheep.

“We created the brand before we created the product. Originally, we wanted to create something iconic and contemporary that represented its birthplace. Interestingly it’s evolved to become a lovemark – a symbol to represent smiles and happiness. 

“We launched the Herdy in 2007 with a very limited range of products. We started out selling wholesale then we went online in 2009 and opened our first shop in Grasmere in 2010.

“Harrogate was our first ever trade show in 2010 where we probably had the smallest stand there but we had a tremendous response. We love Harrogate as a town.”

Some of the Herdy range on display at Harrogate Convention Centre in 2017
Some of the Herdy range on display at Harrogate Convention Centre in 2017

Since then the pace hasn’t dropped and Herdy, like the sheep which inspired it, is becoming a familiar sight throughout the Lake District with stores in Grasmere, Keswick and Hawes in Yorkshire with another set to open in Kendal this year.

Their design-led, fun and lovable creation has also seen Diane and Spencer begin to pick up awards, including Small Business of the Year from Business in the Community, where they saw off more than 400 rivals. They also picked up the Cumbria Family Retailer Award.

“We now supply throughout the whole of the UK and the world,” said Diane. “The Japanese really love the brand. We also export to America, Australasia - and even the Falklands. We also have a great following on social media. The interaction with Herdy and its fans is amazing – and a lot of fun.”

Diane describes Herdy’s range of products as being for everyone from 0-3 months to 93-years old.

To find out more about Herdy visit www.herdy.co.uk.

Some of the colourful range of Herdy products
Some of the colourful range of Herdy products
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